Visitors on their way to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater pass through the town of Karatu, under the benevolent peak of Ol Deani, on their way through the northern highlands. After climbing the Manyara escarpment, the vegetation becomes lush and green, finally entering into the highlands around Karatu. The extinct volcano of Ol Deani has gentle slopes and it is a prominent feature of the landscape.
In the past, the area around Karatu and Ol Deani was of great importance to the German colonial administration. The area’s cool climate, verdant hills, and pleasing views make it popular with settlers and farmers. Vast and extensive fields cover the slopes of the volcano and the lands around Karatu town. Coffee was a main crop grown for export, and a few large farms that remained in private hands still cultivate the cash crop on the hills and small valleys outside of town. Karatu offers splendid views of the northern highlands and is a popular base for visitors on their way to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Crater.